Sunday, September 05, 2010

What I do, at home, after all these years

It's Sunday, and I'm working on web pages. A mom in England sent me very clear directions for creating feedburner e-mail subscription setups, and I'm working on those in a few places. As is the specialty of the internet, one thing leads to another.

Looking for the source of a quote that came up on my unschooling page (which has a random quotes generator which I keep filled with some of the best that various unschoolers have said or written), I came in three steps to this, and not knowing where to keep it, but it seeming worth keeping, I thought I would bring it here, for now.

It was my response to someone complaining about my "bedside manner." The reason it seems current is that on facebook (not the center of my online universe, but I do participate there), I wrote something that I considered to be in defense of unschooling and of parent/child relations, and was lambasted. I'm used to lambastation, and it cannot take the joy away from my own family. But because some who read this might have read that, I thought I would bring something from early 2008 in which similar issues were on the table on a discussion list. I don't know whose the boldfaced quotes are. I could look it up, but it's not important and I wouldn't want to put the finger on it anyway, at this point. The responses are mine.
-=-You Sandra, seem like an excellent doctor with very bad bedside manners.-=-
But I'm not a doctor, and people don't come here because they're sick or wounded. It's a place for healthy people to discuss issues related to their unschooling.
-=-However when it comes to the manner in which these clashes are executed I find unnescessarly cutting for a public forum, regardless if you are the list owner or not.-=-
Is it "a public forum"? Do people wander by here on their way to the Hallmark shop or to have their nails done? I don't think it is. I think it's a place people have to find, and then choose to join or not, and choose to post or not (and can choose WHAT to post, and how). This forum isn't accosting passers-by. We have no missionaries going door to door. The only advertising it gets is my listing of it on my front unschooling page, and people searching for it.

That's not so excrutiatingly public.

I'm not a doctor. If anyone can do better at helping unschoolers, yahoogroups and googlegroups are as free and open to them as to me. Staying here and complaining isn't good form, is it?

Telling someone that what they're recommending could be harmful to other readers isn't disrespectful and discourteous. Ignoring harmful advice would be.

Telling someone that what they're claiming to do or believe is moving them away from unschooling rather than toward it might be perceived as disrespectful, but I don't respect controlling, punitive parents. They don't often respect themselves. If I can help them see that they can be softer and warmer and closer to their children, I'm being respectful of and courteous to their children.

I'm not here to help moms feel good about doing whatever they want to do. I'm here to help children have more peaceful lives, when the mom's interested in moving that direction.

If you can do better, DO IT! Practice right here, or start your own group.
Telling me I'm rude and have bad bedside manner isn't evidence of the ability to do better.
Anyone who needs a bedside visit shouldn't come here.

The quote I had been looking for, which I had also written in that in that topic that month, about how natural learning can flow, was
That all "just happened," but it happened because we've been building up to it with our whole lives and our whole style of communicating and living together in a constant state of open curiosity.
I'm not always at home rearranging my unschooling writings, though. Yesterday afternoon, Holly and Clare and I went to tea:


firefaery said...

I have never understood people that do that: complain about someone else but offer not other alternative or support to lead someone in their direction. A lot of people just seem to seek out forums, situation, whatever in order to find a place to voice their contrary opinion, and put down those who don't believe the same thing. However I know you encourage debate, but the type of people that make me crazy are those that don't want to debate, but rater harp on something irrelevant like this.
If someone doesn't like how you say something to them, well it really is their choice about whether or not they continue the conversation, or to stay in that forum or whatever. If it bugs you, leave, don't stay and just complain! In all the complaining, usually they miss the whole point of the discussion anyway and are not offering anything valid to the conversation.
Also, people seem to forget that how one thinks and then types a comment on a site can be interpreted in many different ways! How your are saying something in your head, is "heard" however the person reading it wants to hear it. That is a risk we take when we use the internet as a communication medium and I think people forget this a lot of the time.
I enjoy reading the articles you've compiled and hope to get to one of your online chats sometime!

firefaery said...

....and I apologise for the typos, I'm half asleep.